Greece's Socialist government issued a joint communique with the Soviet Union today that endorsed several of Moscow's foreign policy positions at the end of a four-day state visit here by Soviet Premier Nikolai Tikhonov.
The communique praised the recent Warsaw Pact proposal for concluding a nonaggression treaty with NATO members as "a positive offer to be seriously examined."
It also stated Greek and Soviet commitment to the idea of setting up nuclear-free zones, a reference to Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's plans for a denuclearized "zone of peace" in the Balkans. This would mean removing U.S. nuclear weapons from Greek soil.
U.S. negotiator Reginald Bartholomew is expected in Athens Friday, reportedly carrying Washington's latest proposals in negotiations on U.S. military bases in Greece, which are entering their fourth and perhaps most critical round.
Papandreou in recent statements to the European press has said that the talks will be concluded, either with an agreement or without, by spring.
The Papandreou-Tikhonov communique appeared likely to be received by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Community, of which Greece assumes the presidency in July, as predictable but irritating further evidence of the odd-man-out approach to foreign policy that Papandreou has established since coming to power in 1981.
There was a clear effort to play down the political aspects of the communique, with the eight-page text laying emphasis first of all on the prospects for improved economic ties between Athens and Moscow. A 10-year bilateral economic cooperation agreement was signed by Papandreou and Tikhonov Tuesday.
The communique was highly reserved regarding Greece's problems with Turkey in the Aegean and Cyprus.
This was particularly disappointing for Athens in that it showed no shift in the Soviets' policy of scrupulously avoiding favoring Greece in its disputes with Turkey. Sources close to the talks said discussions on this topic "had not gone at all well," suggesting that Papandreou had hoped for a breakthrough.
It is not clear what Papandreou gained from the communique other than the domestic benefit of appeasing the pro-Moscow Communist Party of Greece, powerful in the labor unions.
On other issues, the communique called for the inclusion of the Palestine Liberation Organization in negotiations for a solution based on the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
In an obvious dig at the United States, the text called on all countries to sign the recent U.N. Law of the Sea Convention.
On international peace, the communique somewhat less controversially asserted that a successful conclusion to the Geneva arms reduction talks is "indispensable" and says that nuclear arms reduction must be based on "equality and equal security"--a formula used in U.N. resolutions and by Tikhonov in Athens to describe the Soviet position.